A german shepherd puppy barking can become extremely problematic quickly. While you’ll most likely get used to it, people around you such as your neighbors may not.
However, if your german shepherd puppy is barking, there are things you can do to stop it. If you’re ready to stop your puppy from barking as well as finding out why it happens then keep reading!
Why Is Your German Shepherd Puppy Barking?
There are a whole host of reasons your puppy may be barking. And to effectively train them, you need to know exactly what’s making them bark.
Listed below are the most common reasons your german shepherd puppy may be barking.
When They Want Something
The most common reason your puppy is barking is that they want something. Whether it’s attention, food, to go for a walk, they don’t have any other means of communication.
Just like when children nag and scream at you to give you something, your puppy is doing the same thing!
There’s Something New In The Environment/Potential Danger
If your puppy is exhibiting this behavior, then it’s for a good reason. They sense something new in the environment that could be a danger. The only problem is, some puppies see anything new as a danger or intruder.
They could be barking if they see new people, a dog, birds, cats, the mailman. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s a stimulus. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be something they’ve seen, it can also be something they’ve heard as well.
The puppy may even do it when the same thing happens. For example, when the mailman comes, they will still bark every day.
Another common reason that your puppy may be barking is due to separation anxiety. This is going to happen every time you leave them.
There are two main reasons that separation anxiety is going to occur. The first is that your german shepherd thinks they’re supposed to look after you. When you’re gone they’re going to panic and get anxious.
The second reason is that they’re scared you’re not going to come back. This happens most often in older rescue dogs, however, it can also happen in a german shepherd puppy who is unsure.
However, remember in both cases, this behavior isn’t naughty. It’s just a sign that they’re anxious.
They’re Getting Too Excited
An extremely common problem with a lot of dogs is barking when they’re excited. This problem can often be more intense with german shepherd puppies who haven’t been taught any different.
When your german shepherd puppy is barking with excitement they’re not being naughty, they’re just having fun. So you shouldn’t scold them or shout at them (because they’re doing nothing wrong), but rather calm them down.
You may also notice they jump up and bite as well.
How To Stop A German Shepherd Puppy From Barking
There are a number of different ways you can stop your puppy from barking, and the method you use should be dependent on the type of barking.
Whatever method you use, just remember that you should try not to punish your dog, but rather reinforce positive behavior.
Some methods that work great include:
Not Rewarding Bad Behavior
One of the worst things you can do when your puppy is barking is rewarding the behavior. This includes giving them attention or treats to try and get them to stop.
Every time you do this to stop them barking, you’re only going to teach them that barking gets them a reward.
In most cases, ignoring your puppy when they bark will normally get them to stop, as they realize they’re not going to get what they want.
Assess The Situation
If you think your puppy is barking because they sense danger then a good tactic is to go to them and assess the danger. However, instead of congratulating them, stay calm.
Once you’ve checked out the “threat” calmly call your puppy away from it. Remember to stay extremely calm when you do this. Obviously you know there isn’t a threat but your puppy doesn’t. By checking it out you’re essentially seeing if there’s a threat.
And by keeping your body and tonality calm you’re going to show your puppy that there’s nothing to worry about. Over time they’ll learn that the perceived threat isn’t a threat at all, whether it’s the postman, a bird or a cat.
Ignore Them When You Go Out And Come Back
Another thing you can try is to completely ignore your dog when you leave them for the day and when you return.
This is the best way you can help a dog that’s suffering from separation anxiety. By not giving them any attention in both circumstances you’re going to show them that you leaving isn’t a big deal.
In fact, it’s so far from a big deal you don’t even need to give them attention before you go. It sounds harsh, but in the long run, your puppy is going to be a lot happier if you do it!
Turn Away From Them
If your dog barks due to excitement a great tactic is to simply turn away from them. When they’re barking because they’re happy to see you, shouting at them will only encourage them to bark more. And by stroking them you’re going to teach them that barking gets them a reward.
But by turning away from them they’re going to learn that barking isn’t going to get your attention. Once they’ve calmed down and stopped barking, then you can give them attention. This reinforces the idea that being calm will get them a reward.
This can also work great if your puppy is biting your ankles.
How To Stop Barking In Other Scenarios
There are lots of scenarios where your pup might end up barking outside home.
No matter what the scenario it’s always best to train it out of them earlier. If you don’t then lots of other behavioral problems can occur later on.
Barking In A Car
One common problem lots of german shepherd owners have is barking in the car. This can happen when your puppy begins to think of their car as their territory. In these scenarios, they’re barking to alert you to danger.
If your puppy is barking in the car thankfully there is a method you can use to stop it.
The trick is to catch your puppy before they start barking. If you know when they’re about to bark, then use a toy or treat to distract them. However, don’t give it to them straight away, make sure they stay calm for a few seconds before rewarding them.
If you keep doing this every car ride, over time they’ll learn that they shouldn’t bark in the car, but rather stay nice and calm.
Of course, you’ll need a passenger or driver to do this effectively.
In times where you don’t have additional help, the trick is to keep your puppy as calm as possible. Before getting them in the car make sure that they sit and wait.
When you’re in the car stay calm. Your puppy will be able to read your body language and they’ll act in a similar way to you.
Barking On Walks
When your puppy barks on their walk you may think it’s cute. However, when a german shepherd gets bigger it’s going to become a lot scarier. If your german shepherd is barking on walks then you should fix the behavior immediately.
The two main reasons your german shepherd is going to bark on their walk is to protect their territory, when they’re excited, and when they’re scared. And you’ll have to train them differently depending on the reason.
Barking When They’re Excited
When they’re barking because they’re excited then you should stop walking the moment it happens. And then ask them to sit and be still. If they don’t do this and they keep barking then turn around and walk in another direction.
By doing this you’re teaching them that by barking when they want something they won’t end up getting it.
Barking For Territorial Reasons
While it’s less likely in young puppies, older puppies may begin to bark for territorial reasons. Especially if you’ve been walking them on the same route a lot. (They’ll begin to think the route is their territory).
To stop territorial barking, find out why your german shepherd begins barking. Is it because they see a stranger? or if there’s a new dog? Whatever the reason when you notice the trigger show your puppy that you have a treat.
If you can distract them long enough to get past the trigger without incident then give them the treat and reward them. However, if they do bark, then don’t give them the treat.
Over time they’ll soon learn that barking doesn’t get them rewards.
Is There Anything You Should Avoid Doing?
While there’s a right way to train your puppy, there’s also a wrong way. If you do any of the following, not only is it unlikely that the problem will persist, but it’s also likely that other problems will begin to crop up.
So before you start training your puppy not to bark, remember the following.
Never Hit Your Puppy
You should never under any circumstances hit your puppy. When you hit your puppy they’re not going to have any idea what they’ve done wrong. Instead, they’re just going to begin to fear or resent you.
This build-up of fear can result in different types of behavioral problems as well as an increased risk of being bitten.
And of course, it’s also cruel to hit a puppy or any dog.
Avoid Shock Collars
A lot of people say that you should use shock collars to fix behavioral problems. While they have been known to work in some cases they don’t work every time.
As well as this, your puppy may associate the shock with something else. So they may end up thinking a normal behavior results in them being shocked.
What’s The Best Way To Train Your Puppy To Stop Barking?
Training a puppy to stop barking can be frustrating and troublesome. Without the right guidance, not only will it take you a lot longer than it should to solve the problem, but other problems may begin to spring up as well.
If you want to raise a well behaved, and most importantly happy puppy then you need the right training program. The training program I love, which hundreds of people have used with amazing results is Brain Training For Dogs.
Instead of using punishment to train your dog, you’ll be able to use rewards and positive reinforcement which works a lot better. So not only will you have a happy well-behaved puppy, you’re not going to have to feel guilty either!
So if you want to know more about training your puppy the right way then check out Brain Training For Dogs!
(Read an in-depth review of Brain Training For Dogs.)
Training your puppy to stop barking doesn’t have to be hard, however, t does need to be done! If you don’t train them then they could end up thinking they’re in charge.
Here are the main points to remember about stopping your german shepherd puppy barking:
- A puppy is likely barking because they want something, they think there’s a danger they have separation anxiety, and of course, when they get too excited.
- To stop a german shepherd puppy from barking make sure you don’t reward bad behavior, let them know you’ve assessed the situation if they think there’s a danger, ignore them when you enter and leave your home, and turn away from them when they want your attention.
- If they’re barking in your car or on walks try to distract them from triggers that cause them to bark.
- Lastly, you should never hit your puppy or use a shock collar to train them.
If you liked this article or you have any more questions then make sure you leave a comment in the section below. Otherwise, have a great day!